‘Criminal predator’ judge resigns

by NZ Lawyer11 May 2016
A US judge has resigned after allegations that he used his authority to sexually prey on young men who were charged with crimes or were afraid of losing their children or jobs, surfaced.

Part-time Cross County District Judge Joe Boeckmann resigned after allegedly preying on the men for the last 30 years.  The state judicial commission presented the new allegations, including one case where he told a man to strip naked and photographed him in handcuffs. 

Allegations Boeckmann had engaged in inappropriate sexual relationships in exchange for lighter sentences surfaced last year, after they were provided to the Associated Press by the commission under an open records request.

“He’s a criminal predator who used his judicial power to feed his corrupt desires. Every minute he served as a judge was an insult to the Arkansas Judiciary,” said David Sachar, executive director of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, which had been investigating to determine if the judge should be sanctioned or kicked off the bench.

The former judge has not been charged with a crime and had previously denied all allegations against him.

Sachar turned in parts of the information from the investigation over the Arkansas State Police and other authorities, including thousands of photos on Boeckmann’s home computers of naked and semi-naked men, many of whom were identified as former defendant before Boeckmann.  Investigators also found hundreds of cheques written from the judge’s accounts paying defence lawyers and court fines.

His resignation letter, dated Monday, said he agreed to never work in the public service again.

“I further promise to never seek employment as a local, county or state employee or public servant in the State of Arkansas.” he wrote.